April 18, 2009
QUEENS, N.Y. - The St. John's softball team (22-19, 10-8) took on conference-foe USF (29-19, 8-8) this Saturday and split a doubleheader to earn its first-ever win vs. the Bulls. The Red Storm was topped, 7-2, in game one but rebounded to win game two, 2-0.
"I am really pleased with the way we came out in game two and showed great mental toughness," said head coach Amy Kvilhaug. "Kat [Lawrence] was lights-out for us and we got production from the bottom of our lineup for a real character win."
The Bulls got on the scoreboard in the top of the first inning of game one after second baseman Britta Giddens hit a solo shot to left field after an error with two outs gave USF a second chance. A second solo home run from JoJo Medina in the top of the second put the Bulls ahead, 2-0.
The USF offense continued to roll in the top fourth inning. The Bulls got a RBI-single from Laura Fountain and second run on a fielder's choice to increase the lead to 4-0.
The Red Storm got on the board in the bottom of the fourth using small-ball to manufacture a run. A walk to sophomore Kacee Cox and a single by junior Shauntaine Harris set up the inning for St. John's. A stolen base by pinch-runner Melissa Pilley put STJ's first potential run 60 feet away and a suicide squeeze by freshman Kristi Cady plated Pilley to cut the USF lead to three.
After South Florida got run back in the top of the sixth inning on an error, St. John's responded in the bottom of the frame as the team got a single from junior Stacia Dopudja and a hit-by-pitch on Cady. Freshman Jenna Berger followed with a single up the middle which scored pinch-runner Shannan Valentin and cut the deficit back to three.
USF's Medina added her second solo homer of the day in the bottom of the seventh inning to push the score to 6-2 and got an unearned run on an error which allowed a runner to score from second and increased the South Florida lead to five, 7-2.
St. John's struck first in game two, getting two on-base with two out in the bottom of the second inning after a double by Harris and walk by freshman Rachel Paragas. Third baseman Julia Sanchez took advantage of the situation, blooping a single into right-center to plate Harris and give STJ its first lead of the day. Senior Roxy Struble added to the lead with an RBI-single to left field to put STJ up, 2-0.
Back-to-back singles by Berger and Paragas and a walk by Durning loaded the bases for the Red Storm in the bottom of the fourth, but a diving catch by Tara Toscano robbed Struble and got USF out of the inning unscathed.
Sophomore Kat Lawrence was nearly un-hittable in game two, scattering just three hits over seven innings. USF picked up two base-knocks in the third inning but Lawrence held the Bulls hitless into the seventh and finished her second complete-game shutout in her past three starts.
The Red Storm travels to Hofstra on Wednesday, April 22, for a single game at 4 p.m. in Hempstead, N.Y.
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